Sunday, April 22, 2007

a digital 'right of passage'

When I shifted to digital capture a couple years ago, I hung onto a couple of my film bodies just in case a situation came up where I would need to use them. But I haven't used them - not once! So on Friday I went into Henry's camera store in downtown Toronto, with my two EOS 1N film bodies in hand. I think I'd originally paid around $1500 each when I bought them, but they're not worth much now. The market is flooded with people dumping their film bodies, and the folks at Henry's said they're having a hard time moving them. I traded the two bodies for an 80GB iPod worth $400.

This made me think about how much I like digital capture. It's so easy to experiment, to be able to check the results immediately and to adjust the composition or exposure to improve the shot. I've never been a technical photographer who memorizes f-stops and hyperfocal distances. I'm much more interested in the things I'm photographing, rather than the act of photography itself. So digital has been tremendously liberating for me over film.

There are many people out there still getting great results with film, and I would be just as crazy about photography if I was shooting film today. But I'm loving digital capture, and making the most of the technology. A fond farewell to my film bodies!


  1. I still have my Nikon F5 body that I haven't parted with. It was my first 'professional' camera body, and I suppose I have a little bit of sentimental attachment to it. But I often question why I am still hanging on to it. I will probably never use it again, and even if it does fetch a fraction of what I paid for it, I suppose that is more than if I don't sell it!

  2. I've been screwing around with an old Nikkormat with a 50mm lens on it. Get some neat looks with high ISO B&W film. I won't ever get serious about it though.

    iPod is a quality trade for sure.

  3. Anonymous9:29 AM

    Let's also not forget how worthless "new" brand name DSLRs are. Henry's will give me 200 bucks for my Nikon D70 which cost me more than your film body. I guess I could trade it for another pola but it makes a good rear lenscap for now.

  4. I'm very frugal with gear, although it might not appear that way since I'm shooting with a top-end body and a 600/4 lens. But really, I upgrade very rarely and am still shooting with gear I bought used long ago. When I do purchase new gear, I pick the high-end stuff that is more rugged and doesn't get dated so quickly. I shoot with it for a long time, and only upgrade again when I absolutely have to. I see many photographers out there who take a different approach.... upgrading every time a new body comes out. I just don't get caught up in that race... and no doubt it saves me cash in the long term.